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Tonbridge Angels 2
2 St Albans City
Jeffers (69')
St Albans

Final day share of the points at Longmead

Tonbridge Angels and St Albans City served up an entertaining four goal draw on an emotional day in which the club bade farewell to the legend that is Jonny Henly.

Henly was named as captain for his 304th and final appearance in an Angels side that welcomed back Scott Wagstaff and Mo Dabre to the starting XI with Matty Macarthur and Josh Popoola dropping to the bench.

The nature of the game as a “dead rubber” was not reflected in the impressive attendance  of 1,431 gathered in some spring sunshine.

Wagstaff entered the book of referee Lisa Benn within the first two minutes following a challenge that saw the visitors’ Gio Rasulo substituted.

Dabre brought the first save out of either goalkeeper with Michael Johnson saving at the expense of a corner but it was St Albans that opened the scoring after 12 minutes when Shaun Jeffers and Dominic Hutchinson combined on the left side of the box before the latter drove a fierce shot into the roof of the net from around 12 yards.

Johnson got himself into a spot of bother on the edge of the box before the ball was scrambled to safety and Henly saved well from Romeo Akinola and Jeffers in the space of a couple of minutes prior to the break.

Jay Saunders made an early second half substitution replacing Wagstaff with Hayden Velvick and the teenager had an early opportunity but his touch was slightly heavy and Johnson smothered and within a minute Johnson once again denied Velvick this time saving with his feet.

But Velvick’s first senior goal for the club was only minutes away as, just past the hour, Jamie Fielding met a Shields corner with a firm header that could only be parried at his near post by Johnson to the striker who poked the ball home.

Parity was only to last nine minutes as Jake Burger got behind the Tonbridge back line on the left and his cross to the far post was met with a close range touch home for Jeffers for his 27th goal of an ever-productive season.

The Angels were back on level terms on 80 minutes when Fielding’s cross was met with a powerful header from Jordan Higgs that brought about a final 10 minutes in which the Angels threw everything at the visitors with efforts from Velvick, Shields and Lewis Gard but St Albans clung on to return to Hertfordshire with a point which on the balance of play was fair.

Jay Saunders reflected following the game: "It was a decent point but definitely disappointed with the goals conceded, Jonny hasn't had a lot to do other than that. Recent weeks have been tough to get through without a centre forward, but you can't fault the players effort. We showed great character at 2-1, last game of the season, we could have given up, we didn't and even when we got the equaliser we still had a go for a winner, so credit to them for that."

Published Saturday 20th April 2024 (last updated Monday 22nd April 2024)